This past weekend at the Smithsonian’s Asia After Dark series at the Freer Sackler Gallery, audiences experienced an Asian soundscape with live performances by acclaimed digital media artist and musician Paul Miller, aka DJ Spooky, and instrumentalists Danielle Cho and Jennifer Kim, set against 1940s black and white films featuring Asian American pioneer actress Anna May Wong. Instrument–maker John Tewksbury and cross-cultural percussionist Steve Bloom also appeared to showcase and play basic rhythms. Patrons created and personalized a renewable-frame drum, and learned how to play basic rhythms from Asia and participate in the “choir,” with your drum as your voice.
Just before the night broke into an Asian electronica dance party, exhibition tours went down, led by Carol Huh, assistant curator of contemporary art, and Alex Nagel, associate curator of the ancient Near East. Faces were painted with Asian–inspired designs and plenty of photobooth memories were created via our friends from onomonoMedia.
all photos: Ben Droz